Monday, June 30, 2008

I can't believe he did it again.

No sooner had I sat down at Starbucks and gotten my latte, than my beautiful baby boy decided to register his discontent with corporate coffee culture, and did the same thing he did the last time we were there. My brother and sister-in-law were visiting and we were chatting, so Hubby offered to take care of it this time.

He was gone for almost 15 minutes, and I guess N. screamed bloody murder the whole time Hubby was changing him. Hub felt that he had to keep on saying sweet, reassuring things lest the other men who came in and out of the restroom thought he was strangling his own child ;-)

I was afraid our outing was finished, but a quick feeding and a burp, and N. was good to go for nearly two more hours! A successful day all around, if I do say so myself.

But we're never going to Starbucks again.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The story of poo

I realized very quickly after becoming a mom that dignity flies out the window, both for myself and for my child. Apologies to those who don't care about poo as much as we do, or for those with sensitive stomachs.

Baby N. is a happy child, and he's *ahem* a very productive child. We've taken to buying diapers in the box of 216, and we still go through them like kleenex during cold season.

Last weekend, though, an interesting few days began. We went on an outing to the university bookstore, so we could pick up a couple of things and have Starbucks, which I never get while housebound. N., who is usually the picture of peace in his stroller when we go out, decided to be fussy, so I took him up onto my lap while enjoying my decaf iced latte. As soon as he settled into a happy baby, there was an ominous rumble from his bum. Being the cool and collected urban mommy that I am, I decided to finish my latte before heading to the washrooms to change him, but that wasn't in the cards. He 'overflowed', shall we say, and I had to employ a bunch of tiny cafe napkins in order to clean my lap off enough to stand up and go to change him.

Hubby and I laughed ourselves silly, and headed home, where we proceeded to call N.'s uncles to tell them the embarrassing story. I figure N. was just protesting against corporate coffee trade, since he likely prefers organic, free trade. We were home for about an hour when there was a repeat performance, punishment for telling tales about my perfect little boy, and this time it was so bad (and so widespread) that N. required a bath and a shampoo.

I still thought it was hilarious, until the next few days passed, with no poo. Then a few more, and a few more. I was starting to get worried about my little champ, but since we had a peds appointment on Wednesday, I just kept hoping he wasn't in any danger; since he was still a very happy baby, I thought he couldn't be in any pain.

The pediatrician told us that he was probably fine, but the next thing to do would be to feed him prune juice to see if that would move things along (pun intended). I think the stuff is nasty, but I was willing to try anything because we were going on a whole week.

I woke up on Friday morning, and prepared a tiny bottle of diluted prune juice. He took a few drops and made the "new food" grimace, which was adorable. After that, he didn't want anything to do with it. I kept at him, and he took five good sips, and two seconds later, he shook the windows with an atomic poo that could be heard in the next county. I proceeded to laugh myself silly and call Hubby - "That stuff works like magic!", I said, knowing that it was just the funniest coincidence possible.

Now, I have almost two liters of prune juice, which I froze, that's likely to go to waste, but it was worth it :-)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Now I get it

There are so many things that I used to hear about, from my own parents, from friends with kids, even from strangers, that I couldn't fully understand until I had my own child. Now, all of those things make perfect sense.

Yesterday, N. was two months old, and of course with that milestone comes a pediatrician's visit complete with vaccinations. Oh, how I was dreading that visit.

We woke up yesterday at the usual time, and were in a pretty cheery mood (with the exception of the fact that my poor little man hadn't had a poo in about 4 days, but that's another story for another time). He had his breakfast at 8:30, and his lunch at 12:00, and we got ready to meet Hubby at the peds office for 2:30. I put N. in the Moby, since I still can't handle the megastroller on the stairs with him in my arms, and we set off.

Usually, N. falls asleep within 3 minutes of walking in the Moby, but of course this time he was looking around, not wanting to miss a thing. We got to the office, and went in to get weighed and measured by the nurse. He was really chatty with her, which was a good sign, and then he was still pretty chatty with us while we waited for the doctor to come in. He giggled and babbled through the whole exam, and seemed to be in a great mood. Then, we had to wait about 15 minutes for the nurse to come back with the shots, and those were the longest 15 minutes of my life.

She finally came in, and we determined that he wasn't getting just one needle, but three separate ones plus an oral vaccine that supposedly tastes horrible. The nurse gave him the oral one, which he sucked down like a trouper (she was surprised), and then we prepared for the torture.

I purposefully didn't look at the needles to see the gauge, so I have no idea how big they were, but I'm sure they were awful. I grabbed N.'s little hands and got into his face, and at first he was only a bit fussy. Then, the nurse jabbed the first one in, and he yelled. Thankfully, it wasn't the torturous shriek I was expecting; it was only slightly louder than his worst cry so far. Then came the next two shots in his other leg, and he didn't like those much either. I was desperately trying to keep the tears from leaving my eyes, though, because I know that he was hurting. I swept him up into my arms, and he settled fairly quickly; I then fed him before we left, and he slept the whole way home.

What I now understand is how it is that I can feel the pain of another human being. I'm a very empathetic person, and I hate to see my loved ones hurting physically or emotionally (like most people), but this connection to my child is so different than anything else I've ever known. My brain knows that he only felt the shots for a moment, and that they were for his own good, but I literally felt physical pain while I held his hands and kissed his cheeks, knowing that he was hurting. I would have taken the shots, had blood drawn, gone through anything, if it could have kept him from hurting for those short moments.

This is how he looked when we finally got around to heading to bed. The photo was actually taken 4 days earlier, but this is how he looks pretty much every night, after his bedtime snuggles with Daddy :-)

Originally uploaded by Dr. Ellen

Monday, June 23, 2008

My little man!

I'm trying this whole "blog this photo" feature from Flickr... interesting to see if it works.

This is my big boy, in his swing, happy as a clam. In fact, that's where he is right now - happily napping, waiting for our mid-afternoon snack.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I really should be sleeping

N. slept until 5:45AM (!), after having gone to bed at about 11:45PM (!!), and seems to be proving my morning suspicions - the brighter the sunshine, the less likely he is to go back to bed for a nap before the next feeding.

Knowing that he was unlikely to happily go to the crib, I offered Hubby a choice - take N. in and try the crib, knowing it might lead to some fussing, while I stay up and pump (blech), or leave N. awake with me in the living room so that he (Hub) could get a few hours of sleep; the condition was that if he left N. with me for some peaceful sleep that he'd be on the hook for extra baby duty during the day ;-)

(he chose to go to the crib, and N. is napping after a bit of fussing)

This leaves me wide awake in the living room, having done my pumping duties. Our futon is very comfy, and the room is air conditioned, so I could be having a nice, delicious nap too. Why am I awake, then?

Yesterday, I took more photos of N., who is getting more interactive and cheery by the day. I'm beginning to get the knack of catching his smiles on camera (although they're on the other laptop, so I'll post them later). He's also getting used to his swing again, which means I can do the dishes and cook dinner while "chatting" with him, and he's usually content for at least a half hour that way. Some of the pics from his "swing" time yesterday were particularly adorable, so I uploaded them to Flickr right away.

I then took a few seconds to look back through my iPhoto library of all the pictures of him since he was born, saw one of him in the swing at 2 weeks compared to now at 8 weeks, and I started to cry. I love my baby more than I ever thought possible, and I love that when he wakes up crying out of hunger, seeing my face makes him smile from ear to ear through those tears. But he's getting bigger by the minute, he's lost the newborn look, and he's becoming his own little person. I can't wait to hear his first real words, and to see him crawl and then walk, but I just want to hold onto each moment and I can't. It's such a paradox. I love him so much that it just kills me.

My perfect little man, I'm so blessed to have you.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I have the best baby EVER

My child is a social creature. The nurses in the hospital said that from the time he was hours old. I love him for it, but I was starting to worry about it, figuring I'd be chained to a chair with a baby on my lap for the next 6 months or so. His favourite place to nap was the Boppy, after feeding. In the beginning, we desperately tried to get him to nap in his crib, but he would wail and wail until we brought him back into the livingroom with us (where he would promptly fall asleep on the changing pad).

However, we've had a breakthrough. It doesn't happen all the time, but it's progress. We were getting ready to go out in the Moby wrap on Friday to see Hubby at work, and I of course had to put N. down to get dressed and ready. I put him in the crib and turned on the mobile that my dad had bought for him, and prepared for the shrieking that never came. He entertained himself for 10 minutes, giggling and trying to talk at the animals twirling around his head.

And, as if that wasn't enough, he's also learned to keep busy in the playpen - later that afternoon he happily giggled to himself for 45 minutes. That doesn't even cover the fact that he loves his bouncy chair, and likes to hang out there while Hubby and I prepare dinner and do the dishes.

Don't get me wrong, he still has his moments, but it's encouraging. For instance, right now he's in the bouncy chair next to my desk, trying to figure out how to get his thumb in his mouth, while I blog and eat a sandwich.

Definitely the best baby ever :-)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Things only I can know

What it felt like when he first kicked in my womb, barely a flutter, early one morning when only I was awake.

How surreal it was to see him on the screen during the sonogram, and to feel him roll at the same time.

His weight on my chest, when he was hours old, and knowing he knew I was his mother.

His eyes looking up at me when he nurses contentedly, while his tiny hands gently pat my side at the same time, as if to say, I love you.

The small sleepy sounds he makes, when his tummy is full, as he falls asleep on my shoulder.

The giggles that let me know how happy he is to see my face.

The miracle and honour it is to be his mother.

Monday, June 9, 2008

We made it.


Part of the purpose of this blog is to document Baby N. for my own memories, along with keeping the world in the loop about how we're doing. I've wrestled with the idea of posting this, but since it's part of N.'s journey, I feel like it's important to put it down. That being said, all these events have come about after much thought and soul-searching by Hubby and me, and no choice was made lightly. We're at peace with our decisions. The last thing I need in my sleep deprived state is to be told I did the wrong thing, especially because we truly believe we did the right thing for our baby.

*steps down off soapbox*


The appointment that I'd alluded to in my last post didn't go so well. Baby N. still only put on a couple of ounces, much much less than he should have considering the time period and the ammount of supplementation he was getting. We got to see the chief of the pediatrics department who, I must say, I fell in love with. Hubby described it well - he was the most un-doctor-like doctor, in the best possible way. Part doctor, part baby whisperer, part young buddy-buddy type guy. We were hitting close to N.'s 6 week birthday, and he still hadn't re-gained his birthweight, so we all were worried. There was still the issue that I was suffering from a bit of a supply/demand problem, but with that you can never be sure. Assuming that he wasn't getting enough from breastfeeding, what we wanted to know was whether or not N. *could* put on an appropriate amount of weight if he was adequately calorically challenged. And, in the back of my mind, the little nagging voice was reminding me that my baby is building not only muscle and bone and tendon and cartilage right now, but he's building little neurons and connections and that requires enough food.

We'd been reluctant to add formula from the very beginning, because I really wanted to give breastfeeding enough of a chance to get started (which I think I did, and I *will* be continuing it exclusively until 6 months, and keeping it going after he starts solids). I also have to say that I never once felt pressured by our clinicians to switch, and they all are very quick to encourage me to *keep* nursing through whatever may happen. They're so supportive, I love each and every one of them (except for that one in the hospital who was so mean, but we won't talk about him anymore).

So, after discussing it with my new favourite doc, Dr. D (second only to my favourite nurse practitioner, CNP M.), we opted to supplement N. with 1 oz of formula per feeding, along with the pumped breastmilk. I would've supplemented with 2 oz of breastmilk, but I just physically couldn't pump often enough, or at high enough quantities, to have another extra oz per feeding. Hubby and I had been thinking about it for weeks, and agreed that at this point, the important thing is to get N. up to his birthweight and past (since he was about 4 weeks late in reaching that milestone), and that we would continue with the breastfeeding at each and every feeding. It's been challenging, both to keep him on a good feeding schedule and to find the time to pump enough to have that extra expressed milk to have at all feedings. And, it's not only finding time to pump, but I have to make sure to keep hydrated and eat extra well to up production. It's been a tough couple of weeks to say the least.

But, it's all worth it -

We're thrilled to say that N. has surpassed his birthweight!!!!! He's happy, healthy, and putting on weight at a good rate.

(plus, he sleeps better now that his poor little tummy-tum isn't empty all the time)

There's a part of me that feels guilty for those first four weeks - when I thought he was just being fussy, he was actually starving, poor little guy. The thing that kept me going (and still does) is that he's a very contented baby in between. My father came for a visit, with his car, so we went on big outings several days in a row, and N. slept contentedly the whole time (even when we weren't moving in the car, which he seems to love). He's interactive, he's trying to make noises to us, and he smiles and giggles all the freakin' time :-)

So, we'll see how things go at our two month visit... CNP M. gave us the go-ahead to back off the formula and see how he does, since it also seems like I'm producing much more milk now.

In other fun news, N. was baptized yesterday, and didn't say boo the whole time... It was a beautiful little ceremony, and we had both my Dad and Hubby's aunt and uncle there. I felt very emotional, especially after I saw one of the photos that Dad took - Hubby and N. and I - we're a little family!!! Pictures to come soon!